If you want your messages to be effective in your marketing and sales activities, you really need to get to know your customers better.

Here we take a look at a number of ways to get to know your target audience.

1. Challenge your assumptions

This could be the most important step to take as it could help you redefine your image of your target audience. In business, you really shouldn’t assume anything. Let’s say your target audience is male aged between 21 and 30. Why have you assumed that? You may have even guessed ways that they react to certain message already. Unless you have any concrete evidence, it’s best to avoid making assumptions.

2. Learn from others

This is basic market research. Read up on reports, case studies and examples by marketers who have worked in the industry before you. Sources include market researchers, industry reporters and even sociologists. Remember to filter and check the data before you use it.

3. Conduct surveys

Try large, quantitative surveys and small, qualitative surveys. Using these primary research methods, you can really zero-in on your assumptions and make changes if needed. Using multiple choice, quantitative surveys will give you hard statistics that will give you more of an idea of your audience’s habits.

The smaller scale, qualitative surveys give you the opportunity to discover more about your audience’s psychological makeup. Give open-ended questions to a small selection of your audience. Here you’ll get longer responses with valuable information.

4. Create a customer persona

You can start drafting a customer persona as soon as you’ve collected enough data to form conclusions. The persona is a fiction character that displays the traits of an ‘average’ member of your target audience.

Include facts like income, education level, gender, age and other facts like curiosity, sensitivity and temperament.

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